February  2009 Issue No. 18

Celebrating our Past
Strengthening our Future

In celebration of our 60th Anniversary, your Anniversary Event Planning Committee would like to present the following festivities for the coming year of 2009.

Saturday April 11th – a Wine & Cheese to begin the celebrations of Easter. Come, learn and share in the experience of wines and cheeses from all over the world, and maybe a little music.

Sunday April 26th – an afternoon worship service for our Patronal Feast, set to 1918 Merbecke – the musical setting in common use when St. Mark’s was formed.  This will be followed by a potluck supper.

Saturday June 27th – a High Tea with Hats Strawberry Social.  Don your favourite headgear and be tantalized with a High Tea, sandwiches, salads and sweets all in honour of the versatile strawberry.  Mood music will be a must.

Saturday September 12th – a Pasta Dinner with an Italian flair.  Salads, pastas, desserts, refreshments and a little music to set the mood… and, of course, what would a pasta dinner be without wine!

Saturday October 10th – our Anniversary Dinner.  This being such a special occasion, we have many details yet to work out because we want it just right.  Details will be announced as soon as the plans are settled.

Saturday November 14th - a dance, featuring music from the early days of St. Mark’s (50’s, 60’s and 70’s).  Come on out and croon along with Elvis Presley, do the twist to the music of Chubby Checker, boogie to songs by groups such as the Rolling Stones and Bee Gees, or waltz to music by Chicago and the Beatles.  Details will be released as we get closer to the event, so get your dancing shoes out and all polished up.

Along with the events listed above, the creation of a Memorial Cookbook by Dolores Whitman and the Girls is in the works and will be for sale as they become available.

John Ross has volunteered his time and talents to fabricate the remaining altar wood into items such as crosses and boxes to commemorate our 60th Anniversary, which will also be for sale as they become available.

Sheila Vaudrey is arranging a memorial photo directory for us in 2009.  Sittings will be held in October and November so that we can have our photos in time for Christmas.

A meeting with Fr. Brian will be held to arrange for invitations to our past Rectors to partake in a service and fellowship at coffee hour.  The details of the visits will be posted in the bulletin, Link and web page as they become available.

The Bishop’s Office has confirmed that Bishop John will be very pleased to attend our soirée on October 10th.  This does not pre-empt in any way his official visit to St. Mark’s in November.

The success of these events relies on your participation, so don’t only attend… spread the word or bring a guest.  Let’s show everyone the influence of Christ in our lives, and that Anglicanism is not just a Sunday Service but a Life Style.

– David Whitman

The Pastor’s Page

I’d like to offer a plug for this year’s Lenten Study. On the five Tuesday evenings in Lent, I’m inviting a study group to form at St Mark’s to examine Margaret Atwood’s CBC 2008 Massey Lectures, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth. I’m trying something new this year as well: participants can engage in the study on their own time via the Internet.

This topic is timely, given the state of the economy. But in all times, both in times of crisis and in times of prosperity, Christians are called to be good stewards of all the gifts God has given us. As Arch- bishop Douglas Hambidge says, “Stewardship is everything we do after we say, ‘I believe.’” He also believes that “Until we grapple more with money as a theological subject, all the talk we do about time, talents and treasure will be meaningless.”

Atwood engages us in the idea that our relationship with debt and wealth has definite religious aspects, both deeply affecting us and reflecting the human condition.

These lectures are available in print form (St. Mark’s parish library has a limited number of copies available), on CD and in audio form on the Internet. You are invited to purchase the resource on your own, or to listen online.

For the more socially-minded, the group will gather on Tuesdays in March at 7:00 PM to listen to the lectures together.

After the lecture, the group will engage in theological reflection and group discussion about the material presented. If you can’t come for 7 PM then come for 8 PM and join in then.

If you’re busy on Tuesday nights, don’t despair. You can follow along online and see what others are saying at www.stmarksottawa.ca/study. You will find more information there, as well as how to access the lectures online or how to purchase your own copy.

For those who enjoyed last year’s study on the Five Marks of Mission, you will be interested to hear that the National Church has produced a six-session study to look at the Anglican Church of Canada using the same five marks we looked at. Looks like we were ahead of the curve! Visit the National website at http://www2.anglican.ca/v2019/missionstudy.htm to learn more. Anyone who would like to form a study group is invited to talk to me. I’d be more than happy to help.

– Fr. Brian Kauk


Sunday February 22, 2009 (after the 10:00am service)
Lunch will be provided by your Parish Council.
Copies of the Vestry Report will be made available in the Link.
For greater convenience, it can also be downloaded at www.stmarksottawa.ca.

“The Church Holds the Missing Piece to the Health Care Puzzle”


The Miracles Window
donated in thanksgiving,
by the Sinclair family

On January 27, 2009, this headline appeared in “The Northern Light” online edition of Breaking News in New Brunswick, and was referred to us at St. Mark’s by Ray Davidson.

The article, written by James Mallory, quotes Sister Ernestine LaPlante, who is one of eight Parish Nurses in New Brunswick. She said Parish Nursing benefits the health care system because it addresses the need before the individual requires medical assistance.

“Although the health industry is producing and using progressively sophisticated and expensive technology, the increasingly obvious fact is that most of the world’s health problems cannot be addressed in this way. The churches are called to recognize that the causes of disease in the world are social, economic and spiritual.

“Once the parish nurse has met with the patient, they can offer spiritual assistance or help the person to adopt a different lifestyle. The nurse can provide health promotion tips and most of all, offer a listening ear. If it is determined that access to other health services is needed, the parish nurse acts as a facilitator. There are many health care services available but sometimes people don’t know where to go.

“Parish nursing has existed in the United States since the mid 1980’s. It emerged in Ontario, Canada in 1995. It arrived in New Brunswick in the late 1990’s, but people are still not familiar with the concept.”

Sister Ernestine is trying to keep statistics as to how many people have been seen by the Parish Nurses and, as well, trying to discern how many hospital admissions or emergency visits have been avoided. United States research has proven that since the advent of parish nursing, admissions and emergency visits have been reduced and money is really being saved in the health care system. We presently have five Parish Nurses in the Ottawa area.

We are very fortunate here at St. Mark’s to have Patti Robillard as our Parish Nurse since 2004. She performs all the duties listed above, including personal health counselling, home visiting, phone counselling and follow-up. Many of the issues she has addressed are related to coping with chronic illnesses, finding a family physician, loss of independence and need for increased support at home, caregiver stress, relocation to retirement homes and long-term care facilities, and end of life issues. Patti’s statistics show she made 474 individual contacts in 2008.

In 2008, Patti provided educational activities such as Blood Pressure Screening, a workshop called “Heads up for Healthier Brains” with the Alzheimer’s Society, timely bulletin board displays on the topics of Stress and Heart Disease, Living Water, Caring for God’s Earth, Safe Driving for Seniors, the importance of learning CPR and Peace and Good Health in the Holidays. Patti has worked with Georgia Roberts to plan education topics such as Religion, Spirituality and Hope and Saying Goodbye for the Pastoral Care Team Members and the Friendly Visitors.

Patti is presently supervising three University of Ottawa Nursing Students as they complete their clinical community nursing placement at St. Mark’s. The students have assessed the health needs of the parish and will use the data to guide them in the formation of a health project this spring.

We thank God as we foresee some exciting ideas coming to fruition over the next few weeks concerning the connection between faith, health promotion and illness prevention.

The Parish Nursing Ministry at St. Mark’s proves that the Church does indeed hold the missing peace to the health care puzzle.

– Gail Stone
Chair of St. Mark’s Health Committee

By Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood’s book “Payback” exploded on the bookstands at the same time the markets fell last fall.

I was curious what she would have to say about the situation and wondered how the timing could be so crucial. I also hoped that she might have some advice regarding the total venue. For the latter, I was disappointed that she had nothing to offer, and yet delightfully surprised at the approach that was given to the dilemma.

I found Atwood’s perceptions of money refreshing, written with delightful humour and interjecting a high degree of spirituality.

She does not indicate where people should or should not invest their hard-earned money, nor is it a book about practical debt management. However, she explores our attitudes towards money and investigates the idea of debt as an ancient and central motif in religion, literature and human societies. She also explores the idea of stewardship, at least indirectly, in her essay.

She looks at ancient premises of money, debt and saving through historical figures, and explores the ideas of money and debt through real and fictional characters throughout history. One of her favourite characters is Scrooge, and she presents to us a modern-day Scrooge Nouveau, who meets with modern-day scientists like David Suzuki and learns what must occur if preservation of our race is to happen.

This book will alter the mind-set that so many have regarding debt and entitlement.

It is a book that I firmly believe every conscientious Christian and citizen in our land must read. As well, it is one that could well be recommended to our politicians and everyone in a position of authority.

– Marion Stalter

This book and the author’s 2008 Massey lectures on it will be studied in our 2009 Lenten Program. Please refer to the Pastor’s Page for more details.


On Saturday, March 21, your Stewardship Committee is sponsoring a Narrative Budget Workshop. Unlike a line budget, Narrative Budgets tell sacred stories about the parish, and deal in approximate amounts rather than exact amounts. This tool will help to illustrate the ministries offered by St. Mark’s in a way that may be more meaningful to those reading it.

Any members of the congregation who would like to participate are welcome. Coffee will be served at 9:00 AM, and we should be finished before lunch.

– Judy Corbishley


There is only blackness, and you are alone.

Above you, below, and on every side, is stone. Cold, solid, immovable. Close. The weight of the world presses down so that you cannot even move. You are not conscious of your physical self – no memory of limbs, of respiration… of thought. You merely – exist. Time has no meaning, and all is blackness, and stillness, and silence.

Then, thunder.

You no longer have a sense of balance, but you can feel the tremor. The world rumbles in protest. One wall suddenly parts before you – not as if a door has opened, but as if the stone has been split asunder. Whiteness blasts in, blindingly intense. Light. Fresh air. Warmth.

And you can see. See the dull brown stone on both sides and above. See a half-dozen flight of steps cut into the rock, leading upwards. Out. Out to the brilliant daylight, a green tree in full flower, and the blue, blue sky.

And there is a voice. A Voice, of irresistible power.

“I have gone before you. I have borne that suffering for you; I have shattered the barrier you thought so finite. Now I call you to come out. Come to Me… and live.”

– Sheila Vaudrey

Shade or Camouflage?

Have you ever invited people to your house and discovered that they had difficulty finding it or got lost on the way? Maybe your guests couldn’t find you because of poor directions or couldn’t see your address because of darkness. In the case of St. Mark’s, we have had guests who are unable to find us because of the trees that dominate the landscape on the side and in front of our building. They hide what both of us consider a jewel that people should be able to see – St. Mark’s Anglican Church.

One of the most embarrassing incidents, and clear evidence of the problem, took place a couple of years ago when Myrlene Boken of AMB Research visited St. Mark’s. Myrlene had been hired by the Diocese to do a planning study that would guide the Strategic Planning Task Force. As part of her work, she visited diocesan parishes, and one of the items that she evaluated was “curb appeal.” She arrived late, and explained to both the authors of this article and to Father Roger Steinke that she had approached St. Mark’s on Fisher Avenue from the north and drove right past without noticing our church. Although she had the address, she had to eventually call our church secretary, Claudette, from her cellular phone to get directions.

The addition of our new sign in 2008 was a positive development that helps people find us, but our building itself is still hard to see amid the forest that surrounds us, particularly when the leaves are out in spring, summer and autumn.

To get an idea of how our tree situation at St. Mark’s compares to our church neighbours, we visited their properties and found their buildings to be much more visible to passersby, and with far fewer trees. The following table shows the number of trees at the front and side of St. Mark’s and four other churches:
Church Trees in Front Trees at Side Total Trees
Madonna 2 0 2
St Augustine's 1 4 5
St Richard's 0 8 8
Bethel Pentecostal* 5 9 14
St Mark's 11 13 24

*Note that while Bethel Pentecostal has five trees in front, their building has about twice as much frontage on Fisher compared to us and it is quite visible.

St. Mark’s in the 1960s, from the parking lot (photo from the Archives)

St. Mark’s in 2008, from Fisher Avenue (photo by Brian Harrison)

It is apparent that St. Mark’s has far more trees than any of the other churches. The biggest difference is for trees located in front of the church. St. Mark’s has eleven such trees, while all of the other churches put together have a total of eight.

In 2009, St. Mark’s is committed to being a very welcoming church. Part of this is surely to be visible and show our building to passersby. We feel that a reduction in the number of trees would help more people to see our lovely church, and that such people would be more likely to attend one of our events or to be our guests at Sunday or Wednesday services.

– Brian Harrison and Lorne Bowerman

Mark This Word

Any and all contributions are welcome. It is a great convenience to receive files electronically, but I shall willingly transcribe for people who do not have computer access. The best method for e-files is to save them in Rich Text Format (RTF) and email them to me.  Hard copy can be mailed or handed to me on Sundays at St Mark’s.

Next submission deadline:  May 17, 2009

- Sheila Vaudrey - Editor
e-mail:  jubilate@magma.ca

The University of Ottawa Nursing Students
and the Parish Nursing Ministry present…
Healthy Aging
and You

A holistic health fair to help you age successfully, body, mind and spirit.

Booths include:
Heart and Stroke, 
Ottawa Public Health, 
the Arthritis Society, 
Carleton Heights Community Centre, 
the Osteoporosis Society, 
the Community Care Access Centre, 
the Alzheimer’s Society and more.

Sunday, March 1st 
9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Bishop Reed Hall

Christian Equation
The best mathematical formula I’ve ever seen:
     1 cross
+  3 nails
    4 given


The Parish of St. Mark the Evangelist
Anglican Church of Canada

1606 Fisher Ave, Ottawa, ON K2C 1X6
Tel: 613-224-7431  *  Fax: 613-224-7454
e-mail: stmarks@

Newsletter editor:  Sheila Vaudrey

Mark This Word Archives:
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February 2007 May 2007September 2007 December 2007
March 2008 June 2008 September 2008 December 2008